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  • Dr Anjali Raj Arun

What are the signs of Depression and how does it affect one’s relationship?

Depression is a chronic medical condition that affects the overall physical, mental, and social well-being of a person. Depression affects more than seven percent of adults around the world with the highest incidence occurring in people aged 18-29. When we talk about depression, it is essential to discuss the different types of depression. Depression can be related to various underlying medical conditions or any unexpected life changes that happened. It can also be caused for no known reason as well. It is important to know the different types of depression such as Major Depressive Disorder, Perinatal and Postpartum depression, Persistent Depressive disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Psychotic depression, and so on.

Signs of depression include

  1. A feeling of sadness, irritability, and hopelessness

  2. Lack of interest in daily activities

  3. Appetite and sleep disturbances

  4. Changes in weight

  5. Frequently having thoughts of death or suicide and attempting to commit suicide

  6. Lack of concentration

  7. Unexplained physical complaints like headaches, body aches, etc.

How can depression affect relationships?

It would be most challenging if you are someone living with the diagnosis of depression or if your loved ones, be it your partner or friends or even someone in your family suffers from depression. One of the most challenging aspects is the difficulty to nurture and maintain meaningful relationships when you suffer from depression.

If an individual is experiencing depression, they might be less interested in interacting with their loved ones, feels exhausted, and may find it difficult to keep up with the things they enjoyed doing before. It can also make the person emotionally vulnerable.

Most of the time the impact of depression on a person’s relationships would be most felt by their partners. They would be worried about the changes in the behavior of their partner and might feel neglected by them which would affect their emotional health as well.

During depressive episodes, the person might feel less interested in spending time with their friends and loved ones. They feel a lack of motivation in doing anything which could affect their relationship with their loved ones in a bad way.

How can you help people suffering from depression?

Depression can be treatable like any other health condition. But the treatment can vary from person to person depending on the underlying causes. The first step should be scheduling an appointment with a mental health professional who can diagnose depression, look for any potential contributing factors and discuss the management.

It is not easy to deal with someone suffering from depression. But it is inevitable to be their support system and aid them in getting the help they need. The partner, family, or friends can offer reassurance, care, love, understanding, and support for the person with depression. Demonstrate and verbalize your care and support for the person suffering to counteract their thoughts and feelings of worthlessness and burden.

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